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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Minnesota: Launches New Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program

The University of Minnesota has launched the Integrated Food Systems Leadership program (IFSL) designed for working professionals to help bridge the gap between traditional food system education and professional leadership programs. The IFSL program is a graduate-level certification that provides a broader knowledge of how the food system is interconnected — from farm to fork — while promoting critical thinking and problem solving across disciplines. Designed for working professionals, the 13-month cohort program is primarily online with two on-campus four-day sessions. Applications are now being accepted for September 2019 admissions.

The IFSL program was developed through a partnership between the University of Minnesota School of Public Health,  the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, and aims to develop leaders with the skills needed to solve growing challenges, such as rising food safety incidents, food waste and feeding a fast-growing population. The United Nations estimates that the number of undernourished people in the world totals 821 million. It is a number that’s only expected to grow as the world population could reach almost 10 billion people by 2050.

“Our global food system needs real change if we are going to feed the growing population while preserving the planet’s ecosystems,” said Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt, director of IFSL and associate director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute. “We need people who can think broadly and are empowered to impact and improve the food system. This is the mission and vision of the IFSL program, which is to help build our next generation of leaders to help build a better future.”

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